Russian Helicopters Holding Company (subsidiary of Oboronprom Corporation, part of State Corporation Rostec) and Lectern Aviation Supplies (China) have signed a contract for delivery of Mi-26TS heavy transport helicopter. Under the contract, the helicopter will be delivered to the customer in 2015. It will be operated on behalf of forestry management in Shandong province, the company’s press-service reported.
“The Mi-26TS is a unique helicopter highly appreciated by Chinese operators”, - Russian Helicopters’ Deputy CEO for Sales and Marketing, Grigory Kozlov, said. “This model is being successfully operated in China: it is used for complex transport missions, fire-fighting and emergency relief missions. The new Mi-26TS will be an effective addition to helicopter fleet of our Chinese partners, opening up new business opportunities for them”.
The Mi-26 has the highest payload capacity in the world; it is unmatched in terms of technical and economic performance. These helicopters can carry up to 20 tons of cargo inside the cabin or using an external sling, which is the absolute record for any serial transport helicopter. In China, the Mi-26TS is used for transporting heavy cargo, vehicles and personnel, as well as for rescue and medevac operations and fire-fighting missions.
Mi-26TS helicopters were used in relief operation following the devastating earthquakes in China’s Sichuan province in 2008 and 2013. This helicopter enabled transportation of numerous military and rescue crews to the affected settlements, deliveries of heavy construction vehicles, heavy equipment and materials as well as evacuation of many people.
At present Chinese commercial operators operate three Mi-26TS helicopters. Two ones are operated by Qingdao Helicopter and the third vehicle is operated by Flying Dragon.
The Mi-26T and its military version - Mi-26, were developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant; the vehicles are manufactured by Rostvertol. The development of the helicopter’s upgraded version – Mi-26T2, is underway. The Mi-26T2 will be fitted with a new BREO-26 avionics suite and glass cockpit with five multifunctional LCD displays, new digital autopilot, and navigation system supporting NAVSTAR/GLONASS. The Mi-26T2’s on-board equipment allows the helicopter to operate in any part of the world and perform instrument flight in accordance with international regulations. State-of-the-art avionics suite made it possible to reduce the number of crew members from 5 to 2 people (additional operator is required in case of using an external sling).